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Forum > Sewing Machines > Which sewing machine for an intermediate garment sewer? ( Moderated by Sharon1952, EleanorSews)

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Which sewing machine for an intermediate garment sewer?
Upgrading from a 1970s mechanical
ClaireEmily
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ClaireEmily
Intermediate
Washington USA
Member since 9/28/08
Posts: 413
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Date: 2/28/13 10:13 PM

So, I've finally decided to buy myself a modern sewing machine. I've only ever sewn on my mothers 1970s mechanical Elna TSP, so that is my benchmark. What I really want is a nice automatic buttonhole, great tension, can handle chiffon and heavy denim, and great with knits. I do use fancy stitches for topstitching so a few fancy stretch stitches would be nice.

I would probably call myself and intermediate sewist. I sew garments for myself and my kids and have no interest in quilting or machine embroidery. I'm not really sure what my budget it. I have a working sewing machine so I'm in no rush. I could spend $500 in the next few months, or save up over a year and spend $1500.

I went to the Metro sewing centre in Preston today and they showed me the Janome 3160QDC. link It seemed great in the shop, though I found that modern, computerised machines are so different from what I use that I found it hard to judge (like, there is no bobbin tension control because you don't need it!). Then I came back and there are heaps of bad reviews of that machine here on PR - totally put me off it. The other machine that I was shown was the Janome DC4030. link which I just didn't like that much, I just didn't like the big buttons and the front and I just hate the fact that it is pink. I worry that this machine would not grow with me, but I could afford to buy it sooner rather than save for a long time.

So expert sewing machine people, what should I do? There just aren't many sewing machine dealerships around my area, and this one close to me only had Janomes on display though they also stock Brother.

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Claire - Australian in Seattle

Marie367
Marie367  Friend of PR
Intermediate
Ohio USA
Member since 5/28/11
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In reply to ClaireEmily <<
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Date: 2/28/13 10:24 PM

I love my Janomes. I am not familiar with those two that you mentioned. When I started sewing for myself again 2 years ago, I was in a similar position. I only had my 30 yr old Kenmore. I bought a mechanical Kenmore/Janome then went on a search for a computerized. I started with a Brother 420 that was ok but I kept looking and wound up with a Janome 6600. I love it. My dealer also sold Elnas and if I could have afforded one, I would have bought an Elna-they were about $700 more at the time. My 6600 has more features than I use but I like having them.

LynnRowe
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LynnRowe  Friend of PR
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In reply to ClaireEmily <<


Date: 2/28/13 10:25 PM

"great with knits".

A Pfaff with IDT.

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I heart Woo (HimmyCat). Until we meet again, my beautiful little boy. I love you.

ClaireEmily
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ClaireEmily
Intermediate
Washington USA
Member since 9/28/08
Posts: 413
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Date: 2/28/13 10:30 PM

Just saw that they have an Elna 6600 on their website for $1000. That seems to have more positive reviews on here, and seems to have a lot of good features.

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Claire - Australian in Seattle

Marie367
Marie367  Friend of PR
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Ohio USA
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In reply to ClaireEmily <<


Date: 2/28/13 10:49 PM

I had to look that up because I don't think we have those here in the US. It looks nice and it has the cute front panel for feet and accessories. Sorry I can't say anything about it or if that is a good price. Can you try it out in person?

ClaireEmily
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ClaireEmily
Intermediate
Washington USA
Member since 9/28/08
Posts: 413
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Date: 2/28/13 10:56 PM

Thanks for your replies! I am busy looking up all the models you mention and my head is spinning! So many models, it's crazy - even if i just stick to Janome/Elna/Brother which I can get locally. Lynn- I'll try to find out if anyone sells Pfaff in Melbourne. Marie, they didn't have it only display but they have several stores so maybe they could get it in from another store for me to look at. They only seemed to have cheaper machines on display, then a couple of very expensive embroidery machines but not much in the middle, sadly.

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Claire - Australian in Seattle

GothDom
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GothDom  Friend of PR
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Date: 2/28/13 11:26 PM

Can I ask..
why stop using the TSP?

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http://www.acdc-vintage.com
This one, that one, and a bunch of other ones!
(though the herd is getting more streamlined)

aka4512
aka4512  Friend of PR
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In reply to ClaireEmily <<


Date: 3/1/13 0:05 AM

Hi ClaireEmily, I believe you have a good idea what you want in a machine. The computerised world is very different and ever evolving.
The two Janomes are nice. The Janome DC4030 is a nice machine.
Have you thought about a Janome DC2101le or 19110? Both are priced at $499. If you can stretch the budget by a couple hundred dollars more may be invest in a Janome DC6030.
Are you particular of what brand of machine it is?

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Janome 300E
Bernina 1120
Bernina 1130s
Bernina Artista 200
Bernina 750QE
Bernina 1150MDA
From Sydney

ClaireEmily
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ClaireEmily
Intermediate
Washington USA
Member since 9/28/08
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In reply to aka4512 <<


Date: 3/1/13 3:33 AM

Thanks aka4512. Both the CD2101le and the 19110 look great, much more my thing. I wonder why they weren't on display? The Janome DC6030 looks good as well.

I am not fussed by the brand. I haven't used any modern machines so they all seem really different to what I'm used to. The Janome's were just what the dealer I went to sells. I bought my overlocker from them and have always had good service there. I guess I should try some more dealers but with young kids getting child free time to do that is very hard.

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Claire - Australian in Seattle

WantToSewAgain
WantToSewAgain
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California USA
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In reply to ClaireEmily <<
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Date: 3/1/13 9:18 AM

The Elna 6600 in the US is now called Elna 660 I purchased an Elna 6600 last summer. I got it for $999 US dollars. Unfortunately, I have not had a lot of time to really give it a good work out. I have been sewing on Cub Scout patches with it and it is a dream to work with compared to my old machine (Singer 6234) for that. I also made something out of 4 layers of denim and it sewed through that without hesitation. I really like the storage of the feet as I am a person that is easily loses things if they don't have a place to be stored. I'm hoping to get some time to make garments with it soon.

Elna 660

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